Commissioner of Education King put forth New York State’sgoal to prepare the state’s P-12 education system for computer-based testing inthe May 2012 memo to the field. Tofacilitate this goal NYS has joined PARCC( see below article). NYS’sinvolvement with PARCC provides an opportunity to share and learn from other states going through the same process of transition to computer-based testing.
The first step in this transition has been the creation of a tool, Technology Readiness Tool. The two national assessment consortia (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC , and Smarter Balanced) have launched this tool, which surveys current technology capacity and infrastructure in each school building statewide across the country. It can serve as an inventory of current equipment and can be updated by schools and/or districts as technology changes. New York State is using the Technology Readiness Tool to determine the feasibility of computer-based testing and inform future planning. For more information: Click here.
Each district hasbeen asked to name a district contact person as point person to be able toaccess the Technology Readiness Tool. It is available now for district use and will be active until 2014.
There are many factors that affect statewide readiness for computer-delivered assessments.Based on PARCC’s recommended draft specifications, NYSED (Oct. 2011) shares PARCC’s recommendations as a guideline for minimum specifications in equipment purchase:
“processor speed 1.3 GHz; RAM 1 GB; harddrive 1 GB with at least 512 MB available; and
resolution 1024 x768. Any computer that takesa noticeably long period of time (e.g., more than 10 seconds) to start and run applications should not be used for computer-delivered assessments.”
Dr. King states in the May bulletin,” The transition to computer-based testing will place New York at the forefront of innovation, 21st-century assessment design and delivery and more importantly, the capacity to support statewide computer-based testing will enable expanded access to technology-based, personalized learning”.